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Disrupting TikTok: How Drakula Empowers Content Creators

Consumer Crypto Chronicles - EP5

In this episode Humpty speaks with Drakula Founder Alex Masmej. Alex Masmej discusses his experience at a conference, his background in crypto, and the evolution of his projects Showtime and Drakula. He explains how Drakula aims to disrupt TikTok by offering content creators the opportunity to monetize their content and earn more than they would on traditional social media platforms. The integration of the Degen token and the creator fund have been instrumental in the success of Drakula. Masmej also discusses the use of points (Drip) in the app and the potential future applications of the token. Drakula is a video-first social media platform that aims to revolutionize the creator economy. It differentiates itself from TikTok by focusing on creator monetization and providing a fair share of earnings to content creators. Drakula is working on connecting videos to the crypto world, creating a stronger link between content and the crypto ecosystem. The platform is also exploring the use of fabric, a stable price model, to align creators and fans better. Drakula is integrated with Farcaster, and is  not considered a competitor. The team is actively working on deepening the integration between the two platforms.

Key Takeaways

  • Alex Masmej's Background: Began his crypto journey in 2019, launching projects like the $ALEX token and Showtime, an NFT platform.

  • Drakula's Evolution: Initially aimed to leverage NFTs and target TikTok’s audience, now focuses on monetizing content creation better.

  • Innovative Reward Systems: Uses the $DEGEN token and Drip, a non-token reward system, to incentivize content sharing and engagement.

  • Crypto-Social Media Integration: Combines social media and crypto to offer unique features and monetization opportunities for creators.

  • Future Prospects: Aims to disrupt platforms like TikTok with on-chain transactions and new engagement tools, integrating deeply with the Farcaster social graph.

  • Content Creation Workflow: Streamlines content creation across multiple platforms and explores bringing videos on-chain through Zora.

  • Vision for Disruption: Seeks to revolutionize the creator economy by offering more lucrative opportunities and integrating financial rewards with social media.

In the most recent episode of Consumer Crypto Chronicles, Humpty Calderon hosts Alex Masmej, the CEO and founder of Showtime and Drakula, discussing his journey in the cryptocurrency space and how it led to the development of Drakula

With years of experience in consumer-oriented crypto projects, Alex shares his insights on the challenges and opportunities in merging social media with blockchain technology. This article delves into Alex's background, the evolution of Drakula, and its potential to revolutionize content creation by leveraging the unique advantages of the crypto world.

Alex Masmej's Crypto Journey

Alex Masmej's foray into cryptocurrency began in 2019, a time when the crypto community in France was relatively nascent. His journey was significantly shaped by his interactions with American crypto enthusiasts on Twitter, which expanded his network and deepened his understanding of the crypto space. 

Alex initially experimented with various consumer-focused crypto projects, including the $ALEX token and Creator token. Despite these early endeavors, he felt that the technology was not yet mature enough for large-scale implementation.

As the NFT boom took off, particularly in the realm of digital art, Alex launched Showtime, a platform designed to function like an Instagram for NFTs. Showtime quickly gained traction and raised $8 million from investors. However, the onset of the crypto bear market saw creators migrate back to more established platforms like TikTok. This shift prompted Alex and his team to rethink their strategy and target the biggest competitor in the social media space—TikTok—with their new platform, Drakula. Initially, Drakula was intended to be a mainstream product, but with the sudden growth of Farcaster, the team had to adapt and focus on building a community around the platform.

The Birth and Evolution of Drakula

Drakula started as a mainstream product but underwent several transformations as the team adapted to market conditions and technological advancements. Initially, Drakula aimed to leverage the popularity of NFTs and offer unique features to content creators, particularly focusing on those underrepresented in the traditional crypto platforms. 

The platform experimented with various approaches to integrating crypto into social media, such as creating free NFTs on Polygon and collaborating with music artists to offer NFTs in exchange for pre-saving songs on Spotify.

Drakula now aims to differentiate itself from TikTok by offering more features and benefits to content creators in the crypto space, particularly women, who have been underrepresented on traditional crypto platforms.

However, the return of music artists to TikTok highlighted the need for a different approach. Drakula pivoted to model itself more closely after TikTok, with a significant differentiator: the ability for content creators and users to earn more money. The platform's token, $DEGEN, experienced substantial growth thanks to the affordability of Layer 2 solutions and the high volume of transactions generated by the app. 

Embracing Chaos for Creativity

Humpty Calderon emphasizes the importance of embracing chaos within the crypto market to benefit content creators and their fans. The Drakula platform can be seen as an attempt to harness the chaotic nature of the crypto market and apply it to the benefit of content creators and their fans.

Drakula embodies this philosophy by attempting to harness the inherent volatility and excitement of the crypto world to create a more dynamic and rewarding environment for content creation. 

Alex shares how the integration of $DEGEN into Drakula, supported by the Meta Cartel community, led to significant growth for the token and the platform. He expresses gratitude for the founder's support and the integration of $DEGEN, which contributed to the app's success and the subsequent price increase. The conversation then shifts to the potential role of Creator tokens in the future.

Drakula's approach includes a grant fund similar to TikTok's, which pays content creators, and a creator token model to reward participation further. During its launch, the platform distributed a large amount of goat coins to active users, fostering early engagement and loyalty.

The use of a points system, called Drip, initially tracked user activities but has since evolved into a motivational tool encouraging users to share more content. Drip represents an innovative way to keep users engaged without the need for in-app purchases or external websites. 

Alex discusses the Drakula app's use of Drip, a non-token reward system for content creators. He explains that Drip was initially implemented to keep track of user activities but has since become a motivator for users to share content. He suggests that Drip could potentially be used for on-chain transactions without the need for in-app purchases or external websites. Alex also expresses excitement about the potential of Drakula's connection to the crypto world and the possibility of rewarding video watching with rewards. He mentions that a new product related to this concept is coming soon.

Integrating Crypto with Social Media

Alex discusses the potential of the Drakula app, which combines elements of social media and crypto, to disrupt platforms like TikTok and reward content creation. Drakula's connection to the crypto world opens up exciting possibilities for rewarding content creation and engagement. Alex is particularly enthusiastic about the potential for on-chain transactions and the rewards system that Drakula could implement. The app's integration with the Farcaster social graph protocol, a text-based client, has allowed Drakula to benefit from an open social graph while focusing on video content.

Drakula's potential to disrupt platforms like TikTok lies in its unique blend of social media and crypto elements. The app currently has two separate products coexisting without a clear link, but there is great excitement about the potential for on-chain podcasting and rewarding content engagement through crypto tokens. Alex recommends platforms such as Pods, Crypto Sapiens, and Leia Hurn for content creators interested in the intersection of podcasting and NFTs.

Humpty discusses the potential of the Drakula platform to better align content creators with their fans. While social finance systems, such as the bonding curve model, have been used to incentivize creators and consumers, he mentions that this model may not be ideal as it can result in financial losses for users. 

The idea of rewarding content minting on the blockchain opens up new opportunities for virality and advertising, potentially surpassing the reach of traditional social media apps. Alex and Humpty discuss the possibility of integrating Fabric, a stable pricing model, into Drakula to provide creators with a consistent revenue stream and fans with rewards for sharing content. Alex believes that this model could potentially onboard the next billion users to crypto and decentralized platforms.

The Future of Content Creation with Drakula

The discussion revolves around the potential shift in virality paradigms for tokens, specifically those related to content creators, through platforms like Hypers Sub. Alex points out that while speculation currently drives the virality of tokens, the emergence of platforms that empower creators and their fans could change this dynamic.

Unlike traditional bonding curves that solely rely on attention economy, Hypers Sub introduces fundamentals into investing in a creator, offering a more sustainable form of speculation. Alex also addresses a question about Farcaster and Warpcast, concluding that while Farcaster could support native videos, it is not a direct video platform competitor to Drakula.

Humpty discusses their experience with Drakula, a new video-first client on the Farcaster social graph protocol. Unlike Warpcast, which is a text-based client, Drakula focuses on social interaction and content diversity. Alex notes that they have had a good relationship with Farcaster and have benefited from the open social graph.

Drakula does not fetch data from Farcaster but pushes content to it, and he sees this as a positive contribution to the platform. He expresses admiration for the Farcaster team and looks forward to building a big app and client in the future. Alex also mentions that Drakula is already integrating deeply with Farcaster, with features like following and follower accounts visible on Drakula. While there are currently no plans to pull existing videos from Farcaster onto the Drakula feed, the speaker is open to the possibility of integrating with another short-form video client on the blockchain.

Stay Connected and Final Thoughts

Drakula represents a bold attempt to disrupt the social media landscape by merging the worlds of crypto and content creation. Through innovative use of tokens, grant funds, and reward systems, Drakula aims to empower content creators and offer more lucrative opportunities than traditional platforms like TikTok. 

Humpty discusses their content creation workflow and their use of various platforms, including Drakula and Zora. They explain that they record a podcast, stream it to Unlonely, have their team edit the video, and then upload shorts to Zora. After Zora, they go to Drakula. Alex expresses excitement about the potential for unifying the platforms and creating a more streamlined process. They also mention that they are considering bringing their videos on-chain through Zora and have recently launched a Creator group chat for feedback and support. Alex invites listeners to join the group chat and provides contact information for Drakula.

As the platform continues to evolve and integrate with other crypto-based systems, its potential to revolutionize the creator economy becomes increasingly apparent. For content creators and fans alike, Drakula offers a glimpse into the future of social media, where creativity and financial rewards go hand in hand.

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